Rhino carnage - 9 rhinos killed in 1 day in KwaZulu-Natal; 4 killed in Eastern Cape and 3 in India26/09/2012 16:50:08
Will this only stop when there are no more rhinos left?
Dead rhinos spotted from the air
Altogether nine rhinos were found poached whilst one other was found but it was ascertained it had died of natural causes. Ezemvelo recovered the horns from one of the poached rhino.
Investigation into bloodbath
"I want action; decisive action. I cannot stomach this. It's absolutely horrible to have such a bloodbath. I am going to investigate this and I can assure everyone I am going to get answers," he said.
Rhino carnage - More poaching
On 25th September, 4 rhinos were killed in South Africa's Eastern Cape, at Lalibela Game Reserve, situated between Addo Elephant Park and Grahamstown. The rhinos were darted with tanquilisers before their horns were sawn off. 3 of the rhinos were dead when they were found the next morning, and the 4th was put down by a vet.
IndiaThe scourge of rhino poaching is not just confined to Africa. At least three rare Asian one-horned rhinos have been poached in Kaziranga National Park, one of which had her horns cut off while still alive.
Ivory and rhino horns in KenyaAdditionally, more than 2 tonnes of ivory and five rhino horns have been seized by authorities in Kenya.
He did not rule out bringing in an independent criminal investigation audit: "But before I do that I am going to conduct my own research. But whatever is wrong I need to assure people from the bottom of my heart that our field staff is filled with people of huge dedication and passion. Make no mistake; this will have come as a huge great shock to them as well".
Most of the dead rhino at HiP had been poached about a week or so ago, while one had probably been dead for a month old: "Our staff is doing their work as best they can. After all in terms of scouting, I am only concerned about our not having spotted the one white rhino that had died a month ago".
"I could say to people that we are under-resourced and that our foe is highly sophisticated. However true, I won't accept this as an adequate explanation for this carnage. Project Rhino was established precisely to co-ordinate all the activities of interested parties. They meet once a month and yet this disaster suggests something is seriously amiss."
46 rhino killed in KZN in 2012
Clearly upset, Dr Mkhize said he would also look into the communication amongst all the anti-rhino poaching forces: "we have to act as a large family, all working towards a single focussed agenda. Perhaps some groups are working independently of each other".
He bemoaned the resources his organisation has thrown into the anti-rhino poaching campaign only for something like this to undermine his organisation's commitment to stopping it. Two months ago Dr Mkhize himself instructed that R2m would be earmarked from the R11.8m the organisation raised from their annual game auction specifically for anti-rhino poaching."I am so upset, actually. I have thrown every resource I possibly could into this war. I have made huge strides with the surrounding communities living on the boundaries of HiP in order to gain their support in this anti-rhino poaching campaign. For example I found sponsorship to organise that 100 children were selected from these communities and given a special conservation education. We organised a special sms campaign with a cell phone operator. We earmarked other resources for investigations and intelligence gathering; we helped a private helicopter company patrol HiP for some eight months; we are training special anti-rhino field staff..."
Black rhino at iSimangaliso
A black rhino has been killed at South Africa's iSimangaliso Wetland Park the second rhino poached in iSimangaliso in the last 24 months.
Vital link to uMkhuze
A reward of a R100 000 is offered to any person who provides information that results in the arrest and successful conviction of the culprits. If members of the public have any information, or see something suspicious please report these to Dave Robertson (Conservation Cluster Manager) on 0716833693 or iSimangaliso's emergency no. 0827977944.